MBC‘s PD Notebook has recently done an expose on the Manmin Central Church cult, and a part of that was their involvement with E Entertainment, home to boy group E’LAST.
Basically, the company’s CEO has connections to the twins that now run the cult, including them investing ~$3+ million into the group.
Unfortunately, it gets worse, as the program then reports some E’LAST members were also cult members.
Not unlike the controversies with JMS and Synnara Record, all this has proven problematic because of the church’s founder Jaerock Lee, who was also featured on the Netflix documentary In The Name Of God: A Holy Betrayal. The church was excommunicated by other Christian churches over their claims Jaerock is immortal and was basically Jesus.
The KMA released a statement saying Lee is a cult leader and that he is not well accepted by Korean churches.
”First of all, he was excommunicated as a cult leader from his own denomination (Church of Holiness) in May 1990 and from the Korean Christian Association (Han K Chong) on the 30th of April 1999 because of his unbiblical teachings,” the statement says.
The statement also claims that on July 5, 1998, Lee said he was sinless and exempted from dying and that he and Jesus Christ are one. This allegation has also caused born-again Christians of other denominations to react angrily.
The church also has history with PD Notebook, as back in 1999 they stormed the MBC station and cut power over a story about Jaerock Lee claiming he could cure illness.
Approximately 300 followers invaded the television station on Tuesday evening, cutting power supplies five minutes after the hour-long documentary had started.
MBC officials estimated 50 protesters had overpowered security guards and broken into the control room where they cut the power. The picture was restored, but lost again on three further occasions.
An MBC spokesman said: “The programme was interrupted just five minutes after it began. We had to broadcast other programmes instead.”
Others attacked the producer of the programme, which is entitled PD-Notepad, and then held a sit-in in the lobby. Another 1,500 supporters blocked a neighbouring street with a sit-down protest.
Then in 2018, Jaerock Lee was sentenced to 15 years on 42 counts of sexual harassment and sexual assault against eight followers.
The leader of a controversial South Korean church who promoted chastity to his 130,000 followers has been sentenced to 15 years in prison after being found guilty of multiple counts of sexual assault and harassment.
Lee Jae-rock, the leader of the Manmin Central Church, who court documents show “deified himself” in sermons, was indicted for 42 counts of sexual harassment and sexual assault against eight victims.
Lee, 75, had “maliciously taken advantage of the victims who had absolute faith in his religious authority, and sexually harassed or assaulted the victims who were in their 20s repeatedly for an extended period and even sexually assaulting multiple victims at the same time,” according to a press release from the Seoul Central District Court.
Some fans are calling for a general boycott of E’LAST, as much like Synnara Record it’s thought that any money going to the company could be funneled to the cult in some way. Plus, some of the E’LAST members themselves are suspected to be victims.
While it’s a shame that it might come to that, it seems like the prudent move with what we know, given that any revenue could be going to help a cult continue to grow. Though unfortunately, the cult is so big at this point it’s gonna take a lot to stop it, and for now the best people can do is shine light on the issues.